Vladimir Propp“characters have a narrative function,they provide a structure for the text”
• Vladimir Propp was born in 1895 in Russia. He was a media theorist who analysed over 100 folk tales and realised that certain characters appear repeatedly in all the tales.• His theory is useful because it avoids treating characters as if they are individuals and reminds us that they’re merely constructs. Some characters are involved just to progress the narrative.
• These recurring characters are ones such as the:• Hero (or heroine)• Villain• The gift giver• The sender• The false friend• The helper• The damsel in distress.
• Most folk tales and Superhero films contain the majority of the common Proppian characters, most notably the heroes and villains, This is because there would be no need for a superhero if there was nothing to fight against/ for.
Star Wars VI: Return Of The Jedi• Hero – Luke Skywalker• Damsel in Distress – Princess Lela• The Helper – Han Solo• The Villain – Darth Vader• The Sender – Obi Wan• The Gift Giver - Yodahttp://matttrailer.com/star_wars_episode_vi_return_of_the_jedi_1983
• In different genres such as comedy films, Proppian characters still occur but not all of the same ones appear. In the trailer for the hangover, there are the heroes such as the 3 main protagonists and the villain who is Mr Cheung who kidnapped their friend Doug. Doug in this case would be the ‘Damsel in Distress’ which is strange because in most cases the damsel in distress in usually a female as they are seen as the more dependant gender. Also Dougs wife would be the sender in this case as they are getting married so he is sent on a stag party.http://www.cinemagia.ro/trailer/marea-mahmureala-the-hangover-3185/
Friday 13th (2009)• In Friday 13th the clear Proppian character type is the Villain who is the murderer of the film. There are also a set of victims who would make up the Damsel In Distress roles. This is different towards other genres as there isn’t a clear hero or knight in shining armour seen in the film, instead the villain is seen as powerful and unstoppable. This helps create fear in the audience.
• The characters which appear most in film trailers no matter what genre are the ‘heroes’ and the ‘villains’. This is due to the fact that it makes the film involve some form of competition which makes the film more interesting for the viewer to watch. It also follows tradition from books and fairy-tales. There is usually a damsel in distress of some sort, but it isn’t a necessary component.